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Bad Habits and How to Quit Them

November 08, 2018

Bad Habits and How to Quit Them

Habits that define our health.

Do you have a habit you wish you could quit? Whether it’s something as simple as biting your nails to something as dangerous as smoking there are some simple ways that you can work towards breaking these habits.  

Over the past 20 years, the healthcare industry has revolutionized dramatically, with incredible advancements in the pharmaceutical and medicine industry, allowing us to live longer than expected. But there has also been an exponential increase in our habits that are creating obstacles in our path to longevity.

Our busy and over-demanding lives have kept us from following some of the healthy old-school habits and have caused us to easily resort to some unhealthy habits such as - drinking, smoking, unhealthy eating, inadequate sleeping, and less or no physical activity.

Did you know that all these unhealthy habits are in fact stopping you from living a long, happy and healthy life? Irrespective of all those effective supplements we consume, no matter how enticing these unhealthy habits are, they are one of the main reasons that keep us away from living a healthy life we desire.

It is in our hands to change our ill-habits, and develop the habits that help us live longer and enjoy remarkable physical fitness.

Here are some of the ways in which we can work on developing and maintaining healthy habits:

  • Manage your time, improve physical activity:

According to statistics, less than 5% of adults in the US participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Maintaining physical health should be of utmost priority for us in order to remain physically and mentally fit in our later stages of life. With an increasingly high number of people engaging in desk jobs, there has been a steady decline in the amount of physical activity done in a day.

It is very important that we take out at least 30 mins of our busy schedule and develop the habit of performing some physical activity in a day. Be it a walk around the nearest park, yoga, or just some stretching exercises, physical activity of any form can do wonders for our body. It not only helps us maintain our weight but also helps us rejuvenate from our daily stress by boosting our energy levels.   

So next time you feel like doing one of your bad habits, take a stroll around the neighborhood instead.

 

  • Keep away that phone, and sleep sufficiently:   

With the rapid boost of technology in the past 20 years, we have been able to make our life easier with computers, tablets, and mobiles around us. But also over the last 5 years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of hours we spend using those gadgets. It has been a routine for many of us to spend maximum time on our gadgets, leading us to use it past our bedtimes, which immensely affects our Circadian Rhythm (sleep-wake cycle of the body).

   

This poses us with having an insufficient amount of sleep, which not only affects our work-life balance but also affects our mental and physical health. Inadequate sleep leads us to feel lethargic and low on energy, and also can cause brain fog and memory loss over time.

Feeling drowsy or lethargic often leads us to slip up and fall back into our bad habits. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep each night to help you beat those habits, and start the good habit of sleeping adequately and on time!

 

  • Avoid junk food and read nutrition facts:

Since the 70s, there has been a rise in the amount of calories and sugar eaten by Americans. It has been observed that Americans are consuming added sugars, solid fats, sodium, and refined products in an amount way higher than the recommended dietary intake.1 Junk food is a major source of solid fats and sugars, when eaten on regular basis, can lead to major obesity-related problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

Try and replace these fast foods with healthy balanced diets comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and moderate quantities of animal products.

Make sure to read nutrition fact labels because often times processed foods are hidden as health foods. A balanced diet gets easily digested and provides us with the right amount of nutrients and energy, helping us maintain our body weight, and thus keeping us physically active.

 

  • Cut down on addictions:

With an increasingly stressful life, we are becoming more and more habituated to unhealthy habits such as high caffeine intake, high alcohol intake, and smoking. And these unhealthy habits are extremely addictive. But, overuse of these habits can pose some serious threats to our health thus eventually weakening our physical and mental capability. Cutting down on addictions can be difficult, but there some ways by which one can work towards it:

  1. Try and delay the urge to have caffeine or smoke a cigarette. Remind yourself every time that you can avoid having that one more cup of coffee or cigarette.
  2. Try and replace the urge with a glass of water, or some healthy (sugar-free) fruit juices.
  3. Have some healthy fruits, dry fruits, and nuts in that coffee or smoking break in the office.
  4. Try out the non-alcoholic fruit juice section when out for drinks with friends.

Cutting down on all the bad habits and starting with healthy ones seems to be a difficult challenge in this daily routine and stressful life. But initial small steps can pave the way for important shifts over the course of time. Start with quitting some ill habits today and adapting to some new healthy ones and experience the change yourself!

      

Resources:

  1. https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/index.html
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615302458
  3. http://jcsm.aasm.org/viewabstract.aspx?pid=29250